By Invitation | Proud Moment

MBDA presents L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd to deliver ‘Make in India’ and Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured capabilities

DefExpo 2018 is particularly exciting to MBDA as it will be the first time L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd, the Joint Venture (JV) we formed with Larsen and Toubro (L&T) in 2017, will be exhibiting in Hall 8, Stand 1.5A.


We see L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd as a key channel for delivering the Next Generation of complex weapons capabilities to the Indian armed forces and developing the capabilities of India’s defence industry in the complex weapons sector. L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd will have its own unique stand and will be showcasing a number of products, including ATGM5 and Exocet MM40 B3.

One of the most exciting examples of this is ATGM5 which will be designed and manufactured in India to meet India’s specific operational requirements. ATGM5 will draw on the Next Generation technologies of the MMP battlefield anti-tank weapon that recently entered service in France. ATGM5 will be designed and manufactured in India to meet the specific operational requirements of the Indian armed forces. It will be a true Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) product, involving the transfer of Next Generation key technologies to India, boosting the domestic defence industry sector.

ATGM5 will make its first-ever public appearance at DefExpo 2018 and will be present exclusively on the stand of L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd in the form of both a physical model and a functional simulator.

Exocet MM40 Block 3 is the latest version of the famous Exocet missile family and includes the replacement of the missile’s traditional rocket motor with a turbojet to extend the range of the system out to 200 km while the missile’s already excellent navigation system has seen further enhancements. As the Indian armed forces already operate SM 39, which is part of the Exocet family, it is a logical step to also use Exocet in other operational areas. In doing so, it would provide significant operational, logistics and training advantages. MM40 Exocet Block 3 is being offered by L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd in response to India’s Request for Information (RFI) for the Medium Range Anti-Ship Missile, and will be present on the stand of L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd.

As you would expect, MBDA will be exhibiting a full range of our missiles and missile systems portfolio on its own stand (Hall 8, Stand 1.4B) that could be of interest to India and other countries across the main defence domains: air, land and sea.

MISTRAL has proven itself a major success story with a 96 per cent success rate in all firings. MBDA will exhibit at DefExpo 2018 this very high-performing man portable air defence system (MANPADS) that has already performed exceptionally well in firing evaluation trials for India, more than meeting India’s operational requirements and what was demanded of the missile system in mountain, desert and maritime conditions. As well as the operational advantages of the Mistral missile, there are major industrial advantages being offered if Mistral is selected for India’s VSHORAD requirement, with the missile to be fully manufactured under license in India, under a similar arrangement as for the highly successful production of MILAN in India. As Mistral has already been selected and integrated into the ATAM helicopter launch system for India’s helicopters (namely ALH and LCH), operating Mistral as a MANPADS system will offer major logistics and stock management advantages.

For ground and naval air defence we are exhibiting our VL MICA and Sea Ceptor systems, which befitting MBDA’s commonality, adapt and re-use product strategy share many similarities with the air-launched MICA and ASRAAM weapon systems already operated by India – something that can provide further logistical advantages to the Indian armed forces. Both VL MICA and Sea Ceptor are extremely high-performing air defence systems capable of defeating the most challenging of air threats, and the two systems principally differ in their launch mechanism. VL MICA utilises a traditional ‘hot’ launch, while Sea Ceptor uses a ‘soft’ launch technology that sees the missile ejected vertically into the air before the missile’s rocket motor ignites. Both systems will be displayed on the stands of L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd and MBDA.

MICA is being delivered for the IAF’s Mirage 2000 upgrade. It is also a weapon system closely associated with the Rafale. Showcased on MBDA’s stand, this is the only missile in the world featuring two interoperable seekers (active radar and imaging infrared) to cover the spectrum from close-in dogfight to long beyond visual range. Its ability to fly out to BVR in passive mode before the seeker locks on in the final stages of the endgame has earned it the nickname ‘silent killer’ as the target has little time to react or to deploy effective countermeasures.

ASRAAM is being delivered to the IAF as its New Generation Close Combat Missile programme. With its large rocket motor, and clean aerodynamic design, ASRAAM has unrivalled speed and resultant aerodynamic manoeuvrability and range. ASRAAM gives it a high kinematic capability that delivers superior end-game performance for within visual range air combat. ASRAAM will arm the IAF’s upgraded Jaguar fleet, and potentially other IAF platforms.

METEOR is MBDA’s revolutionary ramjet powered and network-enabled beyond visual range air-to-air missile, which is widely recognised as a gamechanger for air combat. Key to this is Meteor’s throttleable ramjet engine, active radar seeker and datalink that combine to provide unmatched end-game speed and manoeuvrability at greatly extended ranges, resulting in its all-important ‘No-Escape Zone’ being several times greater than any other existing or planned BVR weapons. Meteor is a six-European nation programme that will provide the key future BVR air-to-air armament for Europe’s new generation of combat platforms. The IAF is receiving this unrivalled system on its new Rafale aircraft.

BRIMSTONE goes from strength to strength with trials and combat deployment clearly demonstrating the unmatched capabilities of this weapon in meeting the operational challenges of today. Trials have included firing at targets moving at speeds of up to 70 mph from a variety of launch conditions, including long range and high off-boresight. Test scenarios have also simulated a cluttered road environment, as typically encountered during recent conflicts. Every shot achieved a direct hit on the target. BRIMSTONE has won international acclaim following its successful combat deployment during recent operations in Libya and Afghanistan and more recently Syria. Precision surface strikes are a major feature of today’s air force mission and BRIMSTONE with its dual millimetric wave radar and semi-active laser (SAL) seeker gives the pilot a great deal of flexibility.

A salvo of BRIMSTONES can be launched in fire-and-forget mode or, should man-in-the loop be required because of complex operational conditions, the SAL mode can be selected. BRIMSTONE’s unique capabilities have also been proved from attack helicopters, with highly successful trials being conducted in the US from Apache, from UAVs, with excellent trials successes from the Predator/Reaper family of UAVs, and also as a surface-to-surface weapon. Whether air or surface launched, BRIMSTONE is the only weapon currently available that can engage not only fast moving land targets but also swarming FIACs (Fast Inshore Attack Craft), a fast emerging and worrying threat in coastal waters.

Deep strike is a major requirement for a modern air force. The ability to deliver precision strike against high value targets such as well protected control bunkers/centres, key infrastructures and military installations from a safe stand-off distance is crucial in the early days of a conflict as was shown in Iraq and Libya. At DefExpo 2018, MBDA is displaying SCALP/STORM SHADOW which is in operational service on the French Air Force’s Rafale aircraft (as well as with other air forces) and which has proved its unerring and unmatched ability to combine very long range with devastating target effect during combat operations carried out by the air forces of the UK, France and Italy.

SMARTGLIDER is another long-range strike weapon MBDA will exhibit for the first time here. SmartGlider is optimised to counter anti-access strategies and other emerging battlespace threats. It forms a family of all-up-round glide weapons, with folding wings and a range of over 100 km allowing the combat platform to stay at safe distance from the enemy defences. With the smallest member of the SmartGlider family being just 120 kg, a Rafale will be able to carry as many as 18 – allowing the destruction of multiple targets or the saturation of even the most complex air defence systems.

MILAN has been manufactured under licence in India by BDL for some 50 years and represents the very foundations of MBDA’s ‘Make in India’ successful strategy which has long been the company’s focus. As a worthy successor to this weapon (the anti-tank system currently in service with the Indian and French armies and has been sold to 40 other armies around the world) and drawing on experiences gained from recent conflicts which have shown that delivering effects without collateral damage is a major operational requirement, MBDA has been developing MMP. MMP is the only fifth generation anti-tank missile available in the world, and has been designed for dismounted infantry as well as for integration on combat vehicles. MMP is unique in featuring both fire-and-forget and operator-above-the-loop operation, and being network-enabled MMP can also receive third party target designation for indirect firing scenarios. The technologies pioneered in MMP will be further developed by ATGM5 in India for the specific operational requirements of the Indian armed forces.

ATAM has been delivered to India to equip the HAL weaponised version of the Advanced Light Helicopter, the ALH Rudra. The system is based on two launchers each deploying two MBDA air-to-air MISTRAL missiles. Given the wide range of roles that the Rudra will have to undertake, ATAM will provide the helicopter’s crew with a weapon that is not only easy to use but one that can be operated in the whole flight envelope from nap of the earth to 15,000ft and at flight speeds from hovering to up to 200 knots. The same system is currently undergoing integration on the LCH platform also manufactured by HAL.

EXOCET probably ranks as the world’s best known anti-ship missile. It is known in India where the submarine variant, SM39, has been delivered to the Indian Navy to arm its Scorpene submarines (Project 75). The AM39 version can be launched from Maritime Patrol Aircraft, strike fighters such as the Rafale as well as medium to heavyweight helicopters. Features such as low signature, sea-skimming flight at very low altitudes, late seeker activation, enhanced target discrimination and ECCM combine to make this a redoubtable weapon indeed. In its Block2 Mod2 latest evolution it is now fully compliant with the latest generation of aircraft platforms. The MM40 Block 3 variant within the EXOCET family is a 200+ km class weapon suitable for launch from ships or from coastal batteries. Already in service, this latest generation EXOCET features 3D waypoints, low sea-skimming flight profile and the ability to strike coastal land targets as well as ships.

MARTE is a family of fixed and rotary wing and ship-launched anti-ship missile weapon systems designed to meet operational requirements in complex littoral environments and blue water scenarios. At DefExpo 2018, MBDA is displaying MARTE ER, the latest addition to the family. The high sub-sonic MARTE ER is equipped with a turbo-jet engine giving it a range of well over 120 km, thus enabling it to engage enemy vessels well over the horizon. Other enhancements include an optimised terminal guidance system and 4D waypoints including altitude and time for simultaneous time on target attack. MARTE ER offers rotary and fixed wing aircraft, ships and land based coastal defence systems a significant operational advantage.

MBDA will also be displaying its NCM (Naval Cruise Missile). This very long-range surface attack stand-off cruise missile is designed to attack deep into enemy territory. Given its range, it will provide navies and surface and sub-surface vessels with the ability to maintain a prolonged dissuasive force in theatre unlike an aircraft launched missile. Drawing on elements of the combat-proven SCALP/Storm Shadow and weighing some 1,400 kg with an overall length of around 6.50m and a diameter of 0.5m, NCM offers destructive power against key infrastructure targets. Maximum precision and minimum collateral damages are assured thanks to the weapon’s guidance system which combines inertial guidance, terrain matching, and GPS with an imaging infrared seeker to achieve metric accuracies in the terminal phase. The missile has already been tested for both surface ship and submarine launch (vertically launched for the former and via the torpedo tubes for the latter with the submarine version housed in a special sea to air transition container). Surface ship operational capability was declared in May 2015 after a series of test firings had been successfully completed.

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